Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Visiting the Florida Aquarium

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Warning! There are going to be LOTS of pictures in this post.

I took a day with my peeps last week to take them to the Florida Aquarium.  I had heard it was a super nice aquarium and the family was looking for a good day trip.  These are random pictures from the day.  (Disclaimer: I didn't take notes on what things were and I'm inept as a photographer.  Proceed with caution....)

A nice little 5 foot alligator.  (We're looking down on him.)

Blue crab.  He was up against the glass and was trying to get us with his pinchers.

A duck.  Not really sure what kind.  He wasn't the prettiest of the bunch, but was the only one that was cooperative in allowing me to take his picture.

One of the things I loved about the Florida Aquarium was the number of exhibits at "eye level".  My kids could get up next to glass and see the fish as you would expect to see them in nature.  (And no, these fish didn't have blazing yellow eyes, it's just how I had to capture the picture so the flash didn't reflect on the glass.)

I had super aquarium envy after seeing this salt water fish tank that was made to look like something that could easily go in your living room.  (except at my house -- we're out of room -- not kidding)

Big fish, natural habitat.  Hubby and I were tall enough to be able to look down over the top of the glass into the water.

I loved how the aquarium went to great lengths to create a natural setting inside a building in downtown Tampa.  There were lots of trees and natural light.

I love this goldfish.  He looks really smart with that orange brain thingy on his head.

Two lobsters.  Is it wrong to share that my first thought was, "Where's the butter?"

Barn owl.  I never got a good shot of him looking directly at us, but I wish I had.  He had that look on his face like he was trying to figure out which of kids to fly off with.

This little guy greeted us as soon as we got to the aquarium.

Pink bird.  (An ibis maybe??  I don't think it's a flamingo.)  Couldn't get her to look at the camera either.

Sea horse.  This one left my peeps a little disappointed.  I think they thought that sea horses were little ponies with scuba gear and lived in a pineapple under the sea.

SHARK!  (Upper left quadrant)  No visit to a body of water in Florida is ever complete without seeing a shark.

This starfish is actually prettier than the picture shows you.

This was the interactive area where you could actually touch a starfish or anenome.  (I don't think I spelled that correctly.)  This water was really cold.  Kids didn't keep their hands in there long.

This area was meant to look like a beach.  The keeper is feeding the sting rays and fish.

White bird.  An ibis I think.

One of my favorite parts of the day was getting to touch the stingrays.  I couldn't believe how social these girls were (I found out there were all girls in the tank.  Apparently they get along better than a group of guy stingrays.)  You could touch their wings, but couldn't feed them.  The peeps were a little skeptical, but I thought it was cool.  (Warning - you will smell like cheap cat food for a few hours after doing this activity.)

My little Chunky Monkey riding a fish.  (Not a real one silly.  Although he would have liked that too.)

All my peeps riding the surfboard on the playground.  (And just for the record, their father got them dressed that morning.)

So when I asked them what their favorite part of the day was, it would be this:

This was a play pirate ship that shot water out of the guns.  Too bad I didn't get a picture of them surprising their father and the subsequent midday wet jeans he had to contend with.

We've already made plans to go back sometime next summer.  Great way to spend the day with my family.

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